Peter Righton – His Activities up until the early 1980s

[Updated: I am immensely grateful to Peter McKelvie, Liz Davies, Martin Walkerdine and @Snowfaked (on Twitter) for providing extra information which has helped to fill in gaps in my earlier account]

I do intend at some point to publish a comprehensive account of all that can be ascertained about the life and activities of the sinister figure of Peter Righton, perhaps the most important of all figures in terms of the abuse scandals soon to be investigated by the national inquiry, and believed to have been a serial abuser himself with a great many victims. Both demands of time and also legal constraints do not permit this at present, but for now I wanted to publish some information and sources on Righton’s activities up until the early 1980s. 

Righton was born in June 1926 as Paul Pelham Righton, in Kensington . He grew up in Kent , and attended Ardingly College, West Sussex from 1940 to 1944, where he was a ‘favourite’ for history master and A dormitory housemaster, Denis Henry d’Abedhil Williams. From 1944 to 1948, Righton served in the Royal Artillery, based initially for his six week’s primary training at barracks in Lincoln from April 1944 (Righton, ‘Working with the ‘misfits”, Social Work Today, May 6th, 1985); no further details are known at present other than that his rank upon demobilisation was Lieutenant. By 1948, aged 22, Righton was living in 19 Garway Road, in the Paddington area of London (my thanks to Martin Walkerdine for this information). That year, Righton went to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, graduating in 1951 (with a second class degree), and receiving his MA in 1955 .

Following graduation, Righton undertook training in the probation service from 1951 to 1952, and served as a Probation Officer in Gray’s, Essex from 1952 to 1955, where he also ran a project to develop reading skills for children with learning difficulties. In January 1956 he began teaching at Gaveston Hall, near Horsham in West Sussex, but was only in this position until July of that year. In Righton’s diaries, he lists boys he abused whilst at Gaveston Hall. The circumstances of his departure are unclear; after leaving he retreated for six months to the Society of Saint Francis, a closed order (all information courtesy of Peter McKelvie).

Righton re-emerged in January 1957 to teach at Cuddesdon College near Oxford. Soon afterwards (in the same year), however he moved to teach English at Redhill, a school for disturbed boys in Maidstone, Kent. Righton had taken a range of vulnerable pupils under his wing, and Mark Thewliss claims he was abused by Righton there from the age of 12. Righton’s diaries list boys he abused at both Cuddesdon and Redhill (source Peter McKelvie; see the Inside Story documentary below for more accounts of Righton’s activities at Redhill). He left Redhill discreetly on April 8th, 1963, resigning his position (source Peter McKelvie) (not 1964 as mistakenly mentioned before). In July 1963, a police investigation began into complaints against Righton of abuse; around time he wrote several potential suicide notes admitting having done harm to boys. However, Righton was able to get the investigation dropped after having lunch with a police inspector (Source McKelvie).

After leaving Redhill Righton worked for two years (1963-65) as a tutor and organiser for the Workers’ Educational Association in Wiltshire; his address was given as North Flat, Marden Grange, Marden, Devizes, Wiltshire.

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From 1965 onwards, Righton established his influence within the world of social work and child care. He became a tutor in charge of a two-year course for child care officers at Keele University from 1965-68 (see Inside Story below); how and when exactly he had become qualified in this field, are who were his referees, are questions the answer to which remains unclear.
then as. From 1968 to 1971 he was a Senior Lecturer at the National Institute of Social Work, a government-funded educational and research centre. On October 11th 1968, as Paul Pelham Righton, he gave a talk at Shotton Hall, Peterlee, entitled ‘A New Deal for Children: Thoughts on the White Paper ‘Children in Trouble” (Paul Pelham Righton, A new deal for children Reflections on the White Paper ‘Children in trouble’ a paper given at Shotton Hall on 11th October 1968 (Shrewsbury: Shotton Hall Publications, 1968); he also published an article entitled ‘The Need for Training’, F.G. Lennhoff and J.C. Lampen (eds), Learning to Live: A Sketchbook of Residential Work with Children (Shrewsbury: Shotton Hall, 1968), pp. 13-16, which is reproduced on the Online Journal of the International Child and Youth Care Network, Issue 95 (December 2006). In 1969, Righton published an article entitled ‘Social work and scientific concepts’ in Social Work, Vol. 26, p. 3. . He also at some point in the late 1960s started working at North London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University), based at Ladbroke House, Highbury Grove, leaving the institution in 1970 (source Liz Davies).

The report by Tom Bateman for the BBC Radio 4 Today earlier this week made clear that as early as 1970, Righton was already credited as giving ‘considerable assistance’ to a Home Office report (Advisory Council on Child Care: Research and Development Committee; Community Homes Project, Second Report (London: Home Office Children’s Department, April 1970). The relevant chapter is printed below.

IMG_2578 IMG_2579 IMG_2580 IMG_2581

Between 1971 and 1974, Righton was a development officer at National Children’s Bureau and head of two-person Children’s Centre (‘The National Children’s Bureau’, Evening Standard, May 12th, 1993)

In October 1971, here listed as a ‘lecturer in residential care’ for the National Institute for Social Work, and ‘director-designate of the centre to be established by the National Children’s Bureau later this year’, Righton addressed a social services conference organized by the County Councils Association and the Association of Municipal Corporations, arguing for integration of social workers with residential home staff, and against too-frequent placing of those with social, physical and mental handicaps in residential homes. He also thought children ‘could be greatly helped in a residential unit’.

Times 291071 - Homes for handicapped become scapegoat for guilt of society (Righton)

In 1972, Righton published ‘Parental and other roles in residential care’, in The Parental Role: Conference Papers (London: National Children’s Bureau, 1972), pp. 13-17 (Peter Righton – Parental and Other Roles in Residential Care). Here he wrote about the  shift during last 25 years away from ‘total substitute care’ towards ‘planned alternative provision’, with child placed in open community with frequent access to their own parents. Righton argued that many still believed that substitute parenting is central role of residential worker, and that the family is good model for a residential unit. He questioned this – saying that it is impossible to provide ‘a relationship of the desirable uniqueness, continuity and intensity in a residential setting’, mentioning that the majority of children in care still have their own parents and maintain some sort of relationship with them. Righton argued that it would cause conflict by having ‘two competing sets of adults’ trying to outdo each other. He preferred to see residential care as ‘alternative caring ‘sui generis’ rather than as substitute family care’. It has been suggested to me by some experts in child care that the substitute parent model helped children feel safe from abuse and mistreatment in care; Righton’s concern to move away from this model may well have been another strategy to facilitate the ability of himself and others to sexually exploit children in residential care.

This same year, Righton also had a letter published in The Listener (June 29th, 1972), in which he expressed his fierce objection to Lord Hailsham’s views on homosexuality (my profound thanks to Daniel de Simone for locating this); Righton would use claims of homophobia more widely to silence critics of his relatively overt exploitation of young boys.

Righton on Lord Hailsham, The Listener 1972

Also in 1972, Righton took part in a published debate with Antony Grey (of the Sexual Law Reform Society and Albany Trust, who would later fund PIE – see articles here and here), and Kevin O’Dowd over the role of therapy. At another time during this year, Righton shared a platform (New Society, Vol. 21 (1972), p. 60) with Keith Joseph, then Secretary of State for Social Services, and who has himself been named as an abuser according to at least one source (Matthew Drake, ‘Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet bigwigs named in Leon Brittan paedo files’, Sunday Mirror, July 24th, 2014)

In January 1973, together with Ronald Bennett, QC, Righton was called to conduct an independent inquiry into allegations of violence by staff against boys in Larchgrove Assessment Centre on the outskirts of Glasgow; the report found that 13 out of 30 allegations were proved and was highly critical of the corporation for allowing conditions inducive to violence to occur; later reports found that John Porteus, a houseparent, had sexually abused boys at Larchgrove in the late 1960s, and others testified to sexual abuse during this time. Righton and Bennett’s report did not deal with sexual abuse, and it was possible for a convicted abuser, Robert William Henderson, to gain a position towards the end of 1973, where he formed ‘an indecent association with a 13-year-old boy’. Glasgow City Council are currently looking for any documentation connected with the case, whilst the council and Scottish government have called upon anyone who suffered abuse there to contact the police; it has been revealed that there are claims that staff of both genders were involved in the abuse of boys at the home (see ‘Notorious paedophile headed Scottish care home inquiry’, Sunday Herald, August 24th, 2014).

Also in 1973, Righton gave the Barnardo’s Annual Lecture (Edward Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic’, The Guardian, June 1st, 1994); the title was ‘A Continuum of Care’, which was published the following year (Peter Righton, A Continuum of Care: The Link between Field and Residential Work (London: Barnardo’s, 1974)). This year, he also published Counselling Homosexuals: A Study (London: Bedford Square Press, 1973).

On March 8th, 1973, Righton gave a talk on ‘Co-operation in child care’, for the British Association of Social Workers Conference at St. Williams’ College, York (Residential Social Work, Vol. 13 (1973), p. 63). In September 1973, he argued that children’s homes were like ‘ghettos’ which ‘stigmatize’, because they are deprived of being part of a normal family. As a remedy of this, Righton believed such homes ‘should be made as open as possible to people in the immediate neighbourhood, and to the families and friends of the children living there’; and ‘Staff and children should be encouraged to go out to meet people and residential schools should take both children needing special substitute care and those needing boarding education’, all of which (not, of course, said by Righton) would ease the access of paedophile predators to them.

 

Times 180973 - Children's homes 'ghettos that stigmatize'

From 1974 to 1982, Righton was Director of Education for the National Council of Social Work (‘In Residence’, Social Work Today, February 4th, 1985)

In 1974, Righton visited Algeria in April, and published ‘Child Care in Algeria’, International Social Work, Vol. 17, No. 4 (October 1974), pp. 51-53. (Peter Righton – Child Care in Algeria). He also gave the David Willis Lecture for the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, at New Barns School, Toddington, Gloucestershire (where he would later become a governor, and which was closed down following a police raid in 1992), published as ‘Planned environment therapy: a reappraisal’, in Association of Workers with Maladjusted Children Journal (1975) (see James S. Atherton, Review of Perspectives on Training for Residential WorkBritish Journal of Social Work, Vol. 8, No. 2 (1988), pp. 227-229). From 1974 to 1982, his address was listed as 48 Barbican Road, Greenford (near Ealing, West London) (source Ealing Local History through Martin Walkerdine). This also became in 1975 the address of the organisation London Friend, which had been founded in 1971 (one of the co-founders was Mike Launder, a social worker activist; another was the well-known writer Jack Babuscio (1937-90), though it is not clear whether Babuscio did not resign before Righton’s involvement) as the counselling wing of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (Rosemary Auchmuty, ‘London’, in George E. Haggerty, John Beynon and Douglas Eisner (eds), Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 1 (New York: Garland Publishing, 2000) , p. 477), but split from CHE that year 1975 (London Friend, ‘LGB&T milestones – a timeline’)

In October of that year, the Paedophile Information Exchange was founded in Edinburgh by Ian Campbell Dunn and Michael Hanson (Marcello Mega, ‘Paedophile list set up by gay rights leader’, Sunday Times, July 6th, 1997); the group would soon afterwards relocate from Edinburgh to London, and Keith Hose would take over as chair. Righton was part of the group (member number 51, and a member of the Executive Committee, by mid-1976 at the latest (‘It’s the Magnificent Six’, Understanding Paedophilia, Vol. 1, No. 2 (June-July 1976), p. 7), serving as ‘Organiser of prison-hospital visits/general correspondence/PIE befriending’; in May 1977, he stepped down from the committee (at the same time as Hose stepped down), by which time his position was listed as ‘Community Liaison Officer’ (‘Stop Press – Stop Press’, Understanding Paedophilia, Vol. 1, No. 4 (1977), p. 12).

In October 1975, Righton became chair of a working group for the mental health association MIND, with the assistance of the King’s Fund Centre; this led to the publication of Assessment of Children and Their Families: A Report Produced by a MIND Working Party Under the Chairmanship of P. Righton (London; MIND, 1975). MIND also organised for Keith Hose to speak at an event called Mind Out in 1975 (Annette Rawstrone, ‘Paul Farmer of Mind apologises after report that pro-paedophile leader spoke at 1975 event’, Third Sector, July 23rd, 2014). In 1977, London Friend’s sister organisation Cardiff Friend, and the MIND Office in Wales, organised a day seminar entitled ‘New approaches to homosexuality’; speakers were Righton, Michael Launder, and Rachel Beck, co-founder of the then recently established service Lesbian Line (‘Seminar on homosexuality’, Social Work Today, Vol. 9, No. 11 (November 1st, 1977)).

From 1976 to 1985, and especially from 1976 to 1979, Righton published regular articles in Social Work Today, which are all collected here. Of particular note is his article ‘Sex and the residential social worker’, Social Work Today, February 15th, 1977, thus written during Righton’s period on the PIE Executive Committee. Citing a 1975 article by then Lecturer in Social Work at Brunel University Leonard F. Davis seeking to legitimise sexualised touching of children in care (Leonard F. Davis – Touch, Sexuality and Power in Residential SettingsBritish Journal of Social Work, Vol. 5, No. 4 (1975), pp. 397-411 – Davis himself acknowledged Righton’s advice in the preparation of the paper; he is listed as having ‘recently completed the Course in Educational Studies at the National Institute for Social Work’, so may have been one of Righton’s students), Righton argued ‘‘Provided there is no question of exploitation, sexual relationships freely entered into by residents – including adolescents – should not be a matter for automatic inquiry’. Amazingly, several responses to this were essentially sympathetic to Righton’s position (see letters from March 15th and 22nd, 1977; another by an A. Whitaker, published on April 12th, 1977, was sharply critical, but the editor added a note at the end disputing whether this letter accurately represented Righton’s views). 

In the mid-1970s, fellow social worker Ann Goldie was present at a dinner party with Righton, who confided to her that he had engaged in sexual relations with eight or nine boys in residential care homes. Knowing that Goldie was a lesbian, Righton (rightly) trusted a group loyalty when giving this information. Daphne Statham had first encountered Righton in 1966 and frequently thereafter, and admitted that she had had suspicions (especially when Righton mentioned about a ‘motorbike club’), but didn’t enquire further, something she later came to bitterly regret (Pilkington, ‘Shadow of the Attic‘). A similar story was related by Stewart Payne and Eileen Fairweather, of Righton’s being able to be quite blatant about his activities in the knowledge that some other fellow lesbians or gays, or feminists, would not break ranks (Payne and Fairweather, ‘Silence that cloaked child sex conspiracy’, Evening Standard, May 27th, 1994).

As well as the Social Work Today pieces, Righton would in 1976 co-edit a volume with Sonia Morgan, Child Care; Concerns and Conflicts (London: Hodder Education, 1976), and publish an article ‘Sexual minorities and social work’, Health and Social Services Journal, February 28th, 1976, pp. 392-393. At some point prior to 1977, Righton also sat on the Central Council for Education in Training and Social Work (Peter Righton, ‘Positive and Negative Aspects in Residential Care’, Social Work Today Vol. 8, No. 37 (June 28th, 1977), cited in Lucy Robinson, Gay Men and the Left in Post-War Britain: How the Personal got Political (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011)); he also spoke at a conference in Doncaster in June 1977 jointly organised by Doncaster metropolitan borough and Yorkshire region of the Residential Care Association, called ‘Residential care – resource or last resort?’, where anotehr speaker was Janie Thomas (‘Residental care – resource or last resort?’, Social Work Today, Vol. 8, No. 37 (June 28th, 1977), p. 8). On October 16th, 1978, Righton gave a talk to the Camden and Islington branch of the British Association of Social Workers on ‘Links, conflict and relationships between residential and fieldwork’, in the Royal Free Hospital in London (Social Work Today, October 10th, 1978); on 20th March, 1979, he spoke to the Croydon and East Surrey branch of BASW on whether ‘The farmer and the cowboy can be friends?’ at Rees House, Croydon (Social Work Today, March 20th, 1979)

In 1979, he would further co-edit a volume with Margaret Richards entitled Social Work Education in Conflict (London: National Institute for Social Work, 1979), in which he published articles ‘Knowledge About Teaching and Learning in Social Work Education’, pp. 1-18 (Peter Righton – Knowledge about Teaching and Learning in Social Work Education), and ‘Four Approaches to Curriculum Design’, pp. 62-80 (Peter Righton – Four Approaches to Curriculum Design), and edited a further book on Studies in Environment Therapy (London: Planned Environment Therapy Trust, 1979). 

In 1977, Righton also participated in the London Medical Group’s annual conference, on this occasion the subject being ‘Human Sexuality’, speaking alongside agony aunt Claire Rayner amongst others (M. Papouchado, ‘Annual Conference of the LMG: Human Sexuality’, Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 3 (1977), pp. 153-154).

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In 1979, Righton sat on a steering committee to establish a course for training staff to work with disturbed young people, together with John Rea Price, director of Islington Social Services, 1972-92, subsequently the Director of the National Children’s Bureau. Other’s on the committee included G Godfrey Isaacs, chairman of Peper Harow, Mary Joynsons, director of child care for Barnardos, Janet Mattinson, Tavistock Centre, and Nick Stacey (see Social Work Today, April 3rd, 1979 (see links above), and the advert below, from The Guardian, March 28th, 1979).

Guardian 280379

 

The ‘Barclay Report’ of 1980, Social Workers : Their Role & Tasks : the report of a working party set up in October 1980 at the request of the Secretary of State for Social Services by the National Institute for Social Work ; under the chairmanship of Peter M. Barclay (London : National Institute by Bedford Square Press, 1981/1982 [printing]), included the following text: ‘We pay tribute to the work of our Secretary, Mr Bob King, of Mr Peter Righton, formerly Director of Education at the National Institute, who has shouldered a considerable drafting burden and of Miss Carol Whitwill, their personal secretary and helper’.

 

Peter Righton Social Work 2 Peter Righton Social Work

 

And then in 1981, Righton published his most blatant article to date, ‘The adult’, in Brian Taylor (ed), Perspectives on Paedophilia (London: Batsford, 1981), pp. 24-40. Drawing upon an unholy canon of paedophile writers, Righton made the case for sex with children being unharmful, in his characteristically elegant manner. No-one who read this could have been in any doubt about Righton’s inclinations (or the nature of the volume in general). 

One might have thought that one so flagrantly brandishing their sexual interest in children, speaking about it shamelessly to various others, publishing two articles making this clear, and also having been publicly identified as on the Executive Committee of the Paedophile Information Exchange, would have had difficulty being accepted as an expert on child care and child sexuality. But not at all; in 1984, he was one of the major speakers at a conference on Child Sexual Abuse (alongside fellow PIE member and academic Ken Plummer). Righton’s career continued to flourish through the 1980s, and in 1991 he was invited to give evidence to the Pindown inquiry into sexual and physical abuse in Staffordshire (‘Britain’s top kiddies home expert is evil child-sex perv’, The Sun, September 17th, 1992). He helped with translation and editing of some writings on music produced by Donald Mitchell, a major figure involved with the estate of Benjamin Britten and the Britten-Pears Foundation (having been Britten’s publisher); later he would be a co-translator of the volume Truus de Leur and Henriette Straub (ed) Keep these Letters, Please! A Written portrait of the Concertgebouw Orchestra 1904-1921, translated Ian Borthwick, Nicholas Pretzel and Peter Righton (Amsterdam: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, c. 1998).

At the time of his arrest  for importation of child abuse images in 1992, Righton was also a senior tutor with the Open University (previously the employer of PIE chair Tom O’Carroll, and who had published Righton’s volume Working with Children and Young People in 1990), working on a project to do with residential children (Peter Burden and Peter Rose, .’Porn Squad quiz Child Care Expert’, Daily Mail, May 28th, 1992); James Golden, ‘Hoard of filth in childcare expert’s home’, Daily Mail, September 17th, 1992). Chris Andrews, of BASW, described Righton at the time of his arrest as follows: He [Righton] is a highly respected figure within the residential field, particularly working with highly disturbed children. He is very much concerned with therapeutic work in child care’ (cited in Burden and Rose, ‘Porn Squad quiz Child Care Expert’).

The Department of Health and then-Health-Secretary Virginia Bottomley were told in 1993 about an influential network involving Righton. but appear to have done nothing. Nor does there appear to have been much action following the disturbing Inside Story documentary on Righton broadcast the following year, with various testimonies of Righton’s victims . After Righton was convicted, receiving a £900 fine, in September 1992, he was able to relocate on the estate of Lord Henniker in 1993, and continue to have contact with children in care, many of who (not least from Islington) were regularly brought to the estate (Stewart Payne and Eileen Fairweather, ‘Country house hideaway of disgraced care chief’, Evening Standard, May 6th, 1993).

From 1996 to 2002, he had an address of 1 Wheatfields, Rickinghall, Diss IP22 1EN, but also in 1998, he appears to have lived at an 8 Badsey Road, together with another person called Wendy C. Hall-Barnes (source Martin Walkerdine). He would move to Hamworthy, Poole, Dorset, in 2003, where he would die on October 12th, 2007.

Politicians, social workers, civil servants and many others have huge questions to answer about how a figure like Righton could manage to operate with apparent impunity for such a long period of time when his real nature was far from hidden, preying upon the most disturbed and vulnerable boys, and manipulating child care policy towards his own exploitative ends. Righton has been linked to major scandals in Islington, Calderdale, Suffolk, Rochdale (also said by one survivor to have been friendly with Cyril Smith – Keir Mudie, ‘New victim links notorious paedophile Peter Righton to VIP child abuse network’, Sunday People, April 6th, 2013), North Wales (where MP Peter Morrison, Margaret Thatcher’s PPS, has alleged to have abused boys), Haute de la Garenne (Jersey), a series of public schools, networks in Sweden, Malta, Denmark and Holland, and more, and may be one of the worst offenders ever known in the UK, certainly one of the most influential in facilitating others. The existence of diaries kept by Righton on his ‘conquests’, as seen by Peter McKelvie at the time of his earlier investigation, was the impetus for Tom Watson’s October 2012 intervention in Parliament, which more than anything else set in motion the process which has led to the inquiry which has now been announced.

Police collected a whole seven boxes of evidence during the raid on Righton’s home. It is imperative that the full extent of his activities (and also those of the equally sinister and highly-connected Morris Fraser), and the many lessons to be learned, are central to the inquiry.

 

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Peter Righton – Further Material

With profound thanks to Tom Bateman, producer at the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, for providing me with a copy of this, I am reproducing a passage from the so-called ‘Barclay Report’: Social Workers : Their Role & Tasks : the report of a working party set up in October 1980 at the request of the Secretary of State for Social Services by the National Institute for Social Work ; under the chairmanship of Peter M. Barclay (London : Published for the National Institute by Bedford Square Press, 1981/1982 [printing]), to draw attention to the following passage from page ix:

‘We pay tribute to the work of our Secretary, Mr Bob King, of Mr Peter Righton, formerly Director of Education at the National Institute, who has shouldered a considerable drafting burden and of Miss Carol Whitwill, their personal secretary and helper.’

Peter Righton Social Work 2

Peter Righton Social Work

Here is PDF of an earlier article by Righton from 1972, entitled ‘Parental and Other Roles in Residential Care’, from The parental role : conference papers (London : National Children’s Bureau, 1972).

Peter Righton – Parental and Other Roles in Residential Care

And this article by Righton from two years later, ‘Child Care in Algeria’, International Social Work, Vol. 17, No. 4 (October 1974), pp. 51-53.

Peter Righton – Child Care in Algeria

Furthermore, I would like to draw people’s attention to this important article from 2013 by Keir Mudie for The People on Righton:

‘We Can Look after You. I Have a Friend Who Works in the GOVERNMENT; VIP PAEDOPHILE SCANDAL’

The People April 7th, 2013

By Keir Mudie

NOTORIOUS paedophile Peter Righton boasted of links to powerful figures in government, according to new testimony from one of his victims.

Speaking out for the first time, the man claims Righton’s evil network stretched to the top of the UK establishment.

As well as naming a senior UK politician, the victim also told us Righton – once the most respected childcare expert in Britain – brought him into contact with paedophile MP Cyril Smith.

He said: “People have talked about a paedophile ring working in the UK.

“This was not just a ring – it’s more like the Olympic rings, interlocking on a large scale. It went everywhere. I believe it went to the heart of the Establishment.

“It needs to be investigated properly.”

The new revelations back up MP Tom Watson’s claims in Parliament that Righton was linked to a VIP child abuse network that reached as far as 10 Downing Street.

The victim, now in his 40s, told how Righton and members of his infamous Paedophile Information Exchange groomed him and sexually abused him in London from the age of 11 in 1977 until he was 16.

He said Righton told him: “We can look after you and protect you. I have a friend who works in the government. He will be able to help.”

Righton named the man, whom we cannot identify for legal reasons, as a former senior government minister.

The victim, who fell into Righton’s clutches while at a school for troubled youngsters, also claims disgraced Liberal MP Cyril Smith had links to the network.

He told us: “There was one time I was out with Righton in one of the parks.

“He stopped the car and got out and went to speak to a guy, a big fat bloke.

“Righton kept pointing at me in the car and this fat man was looking over and smiling. It wasn’t until many years later I realised it was Cyril Smith.”

The victim has agreed for the Sunday People to pass his details to Scotland Yard’s Operation Fairbank, which is investigating allegations involving Righton, now dead.

In a linked probe, Operation Fernbridge is investigating the notorious Elm guest house, south-west London, where VIPs including Cyril Smith – who died in 2010 – allegedly abused boys from a care home. The property is now private flats.

keir.mudie@people.co.uk

There are extremely serious questions to be asked about how Peter Righton, who was openly listed in the pages of PIE publication Understanding Paedophilia as one of the ‘magnificent six’ people (together with Keith Hose, Warren Middleton, Tom O’Carroll, David C. Grove and Charles Napier) who made up the executive committee (see Vol. 1, No. 2, June-July 1976, here) – his position was listed as ‘Organiser of prison-hospital visits/general correspondence/PIE befriending’ – was able to obtain such a degree of influence within the social work profession and, if the article above is correct, how he might have been protected at the highest level. Many other articles on Righton (various of them linking to the Spotlight blog) can be found here.


Full set of reports from the 1991 Frank Beck Trial #1

Below is a long series of reports from the 1991 Leicestershire trial of Frank Beck, which I believe may be very important in coming times. All names of victims, published at the time and appearing in the articles on Nexis, have been redacted. Subsequent reports will appear in another post later.


The Independent
(London)

June 24, 1991, Monday

Children’s home staff charged in abuse inquiry

BYLINE: By JACK O’SULLIVAN, Social Services Correspondent

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 494 words

THE LARGEST case involving allegations of sexual and physical abuse in children’s homes has emerged in Leicestershire, after an 18-month police investigation spanning three continents.

A former social worker who was responsible for three of the county’s children’s homes has been charged with 29 offences against children relating to allegations of serious sexual and physical abuse over 12 years.

The allegations follow a police investigation extending to the United States, Europe and the Middle East to trace former residents of the home. Two other former staff face related charges.

Many former residents have come forward to allege that between 1974 and 1986 they suffered abuse including buggery, actual bodily harm, gross indecency and physical assault. Some former members of staff claim they also suffered abuse.

Det Insp Kelvin Ashby, who is leading the Leicestershire police investigation, said last night that it was the largest case that he had heard of involving abuse allegations in children’s homes.

The main charges are against Frank Beck, 49, who between 1974 and 1986 was officer in charge variously of Rose Hill home, Market Harborough, Ratcliffe Road home, Leicester, and The Beeches, Leicester Forest East.

They were community homes with educational facilities, each catering for 12 to 15 teenage boys and girls in local authority care. The Beeches was the last of the three to close, in January.

Peter Martin Jaynes, 42, deputy officer in charge at Ratcliffe Road, when the offences are alleged to have occurred, has been charged with three lesser connected offences. George Charles Lincoln, 39, former deputy officer in charge at The Beeches and Rose Hill, faces one charge.

The trial of the three men is due to start at Leicester Crown Court on 16 September, and is expected to last six to eight weeks. Mr Jaynes and Mr Lincoln have been bailed and Mr Beck has been remanded in custody. None of the men has worked for the local authority since 1986.

A former resident approached the police early last year and named other alleged victims. After that, the case is said to have snowballed. Some former residents are in their thirties, with children of their own.

Brian Waller, Leicestershire’s social services director, said last night: ”I cannot comment on the trial. What I can state with confidence is that Leicestershire’s community homes currently provide a safe environment for children in care.”

The Government is revising draft guidelines after last month’s ”pin-down” inquiry into solitary confinement in Staffordshire children’s homes. It found that two members of a paedophile ring had visited two of the homes.

The Home Office and the Department of Health are discussing proposals for better access to police records on people convicted of sexual offences living near children’s homes.

The National Children’s Bureau is holding a conference in London today to discuss the future of residential care.


Press Association

September 11, 1991, Wednesday

SECTION: HOME NEWS

LENGTH: 128 words

The Crown Prosecution Service has issued the following note for the guidance of editors on behalf of the Attorney General’s Chambers: “The attention of the Attorney General has been drawn to the publication of material said to be contained in reports by Barry Newell about his findings after an inquiry into Leicestershire Social Services. “Editors should be aware that the trial of Frank Beck and two others, who were charged following a separate police investigation, is due to commence on Monday September 16 1991 at Leicester Crown Court. “The Attorney General wishes to remind editors of their obligation not at any time to publish material which gives rise to a substantial risk of serious prejudice in the proceedings. “Further inquiries: 071 828 7155.


The Times

September 27, 1991, Friday

Woman and two men accuse care officer of sex abuse

BYLINE: Craig Seton

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 410 words

A SENIOR child care officer accused of sexually abusing children was alleged to have argued with a boy about visiting ”a man called Greville Janner”, Leicester crown court was told.

Giving evidence on Monday, the fifth day of the trial, a woman, now aged 31, claimed that she had heard an argument between the boy and Frank Beck, the officer in charge of the Ratcliffe Road children’s home in Leicester. The woman, who alleged that she had been repeatedly raped by Mr Beck when she was aged about 15, was asked by Peter Joyce, QC, for the prosecution, whether she had ever heard arguments between Mr Beck and any boys at the home.

She told the court: ”Frank Beck and Mr A arguing about Greville Janner. He (Mr Beck) was not going to let him go and visit Greville Janner.”

The woman was cross-examined on Tuesday by John Black, for Mr Beck. He asked her: ”It was an argument, wasn’t it, about him going off to see a man called Greville Janner?” The woman replied: ”He was shouting to Paul that he wasn’t going to see Greville Janner any more.” Mr Black asked the woman if Mr A used to boast about being a rent boy. She replied: ”When he first came to the home, yes he did.”

The woman had claimed that she had faked pains to have an appendix operation to escape sexual abuse: ”I just wanted to get away. I was certain I would be able to tell someone and never go back, but it didn’t work.”

She told the court from behind a screen that she was petrified of Mr Beck because he had threatened to send her back to a psychiatric unit. She said that Mr Beck had had sexual contact with her about 30 times.

Some of the adults who were children when they were allegedly abused broke down when they gave evidence from behind a screen. Their evidence was relayed from a camera in front of the witness stand to the dock, where Mr Beck and two other defendants were able to see them on a television monitor.

Mr B, now 26, shouted at Mr Beck and broke down during his evidence about abuse he allegedly suffered when he was aged nine or ten. He told the court: ”It was awful. The bastards. It was a nightmare in that kids’ home.” He claimed to have suffered rib injuries when he was attacked by Mr Beck after running away. Mr C, now 20, alleged he was eight when Mr Beck began to abuse him at Ratcliffe Road. He claimed he was sexually abused during bathtime sessions.

The hearing continues today.


The Times

September 27, 1991, Friday

Head of children’s home ‘in 13-year reign of terror’

BYLINE: By Craig Seton

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 655 words

CHILDREN as young as eight were sexually and psychologically abused and beaten during a 13-year reign of terror by the man in charge at three council-run children’s homes, Leicester crown court has been told.

It was alleged that nobody tried to stop Frank Beck, aged 48, who was the officer in charge of children in Leicestershire social services’s care between 1973 and 1986.

The court was told that boys between the ages of eight and 16 were buggered, indecently assaulted or beaten, a girl was repeatedly raped and four social workers were forced to submit to buggery or indecent assault. Many of the children, now adults, are giving evidence from behind a screen against Mr Beck, who ran the homes in Leicester and Market Harborough, and two former residential care officers.

Peter Joyce, QC, prosecuting, said: ”It was a tunnel of darkness in which they found themselves. There was no escape. If they ran away or did something wrong, they were sent straight back into the darkness. There was no ray of light for these children. There was simply the endurance of it.”

Mr Beck, formerly of Leicester, is facing 29 charges relating to 17 males and one female. They include 12 charges of buggery, two of attempted buggery, one of rape, seven of indecent assault and seven of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Peter Jaynes, aged 41, of Chatham, Kent, is charged with two counts of indecent assault and one of assault. George Lincoln, aged 38, from Sudbury, Suffolk, is charged with buggery. The three denied all charges.

The court was told that children as old as 14 were put in nappies, fed with babies bottles, given dummies to suck and cuddled as part of a ”regressive therapy” regime. Mr Joyce said: ”Regressive therapy was the disguise behind which the perverts could take their pleasure.”

The prosecution’s case opened last week, but contemporaneous reporting of the proceedings was prohibited by Judge Edwin Jowitt for legal reasons. Among those who have given evidence was a woman, aged 31, who told how as a teenager she faked pains and had her appendix removed to escape sexual abuse.

Mr Joyce alleged that Mr Beck was a remarkable man and that ”children came under his sheer power, his sheer personality and his sheer ego”.

He said the homes were supposed to offer a protected and safe environment. ”Some of the weakest, most helpless and most troubled in society were corrupted. They had their lives totally distorted and twisted by those whose responsibility it was to help them.”

It was alleged that when children fought against the therapy they were met with violence. Children were deliberately provoked into such uncontrolled anger that they had to be held so tight they were injured. The comforting that followed would usually end in the child being indecently assaulted or buggered.

Mr Joyce said the three ”and others, not in the dock, not on trial, ruled these children’s homes with a reign, basically, of terror”. The homes, where Mr Beck had been in charge at different times, were The Poplars, Market Harborough, Ratcliffe Road, Leicester and The Beeches, Leicester Forest East. Mr Jaynes had been deputy at the Poplars and Ratcliffe Road and Mr Lincoln had worked at The Beeches.

Children were in care at the homes because they were beyond parental control or because they had other problems. Some had been in trouble and others were there only because one or other of their parents was ill.

The prosecution alleged that Mr Beck buggered young social workers who were dependent on him for their jobs. Mr Joyce said: ”They were in a position where they could not defy him. What chance did the children have if the social workers themselves did not report him?”

Mr Joyce said a boy of eight, who had been buggered three or four times by Mr Beck, was told that sort of thing would happen to him when he was older and that it was normal.


Press Association

September 27, 1991, Friday

CHILDREN’S HOME MAN ‘COULDN’T REFUSE’ HEAD’S SEX DEMANDS

BYLINE: Mervyn Tunbridge, Press Association

SECTION: HOME NEWS

LENGTH: 347 words

A former social worker claimed today that his boss had regular sex with him at a children’s home over a period of three or four years. Mr D, now 38, told a jury at Leicester Crown Court he felt he could not refuse the attentions of Frank Beck. “He was the officer in charge and I was the lowest grade social worker in the home,” he said. “He had my career in his hands. “If I was going for another job I would have to get a reference from him. I felt I had no choice.” Beck, of Braunstone, Leicester, denies 12 charges of buggery, one of rape, two of attempted buggery, seven of indecent assault and seven of assault causing bodily harm. The charges relate to 13 boys, one girl and four members of staff. The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1974 and 1986 when he was head of two children’s homes in Leicester and at The Poplars home in Market Harborough. The former deputy head of two of the homes, Peter Jaynes, 41, from Chatham, Kent, has denied two charges of indecent assault and one of causing actual bodily harm. Social worker George Lincoln, 38, from Sudbury, Suffolk, has pleaded not guilty to a joint charge with Beck of buggering a boy. A ban on reporting the trial, which began at the start of last week, was overturned by the Court of Appeal on Thursday after representations by several newspapers and the Press Association. Mr D said he was just 21 when he got a job at The Poplars in 1974. He became upset by problems encountered in dealing with some children and Beck cuddled and comforted him. Several times, Beck took him to his room and mutual masturbation took place. On one occasion, Beck buggered him. “He had convinced me that I needed to develop my sexual area and this was one way of making me stronger,” said Mr D. The prosecution has claimed that youngsters as young as eight were sexually and physically assaulted at the three homes where they had been placed for their own safety during a reign of brutality and abuse that went undetected for 13 years. The trial was adjourned until Monday.


The Independent
(London)

September 27, 1991, Friday

Appeal court removes gag on child sex trial

BYLINE: By PATRICIA WYNN DAVIES and JACK O’SULLIVAN

SECTION: TITLE PAGE; Page 1

LENGTH: 616 words

THE RIGHT of the media to publish crown court allegations that young people had been repeatedly buggered, sexually assaulted and beaten in Leicestershire children’s homes was upheld yesterday in an important Court of Appeal ruling overturning a blanket ban on reports of the trial of three social workers.

In one of the most significant decisions under the 1981 Contempt of Court Act, Lord Justice Farquarson, Mr Justice Tucker and Mr Justice Owen allowed a challenge by The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, the Press Association and Times Newspapers to an order imposed by Mr Justice Jowitt, the trial judge, when the case opened in Leicester on 16 September.

Although the details of the appeal court’s ruling cannot be publicised now, the overturning of the judge’s order – the making of which was likewise covered by the publicity ban – is likely to come to be a viewed as a substantial victory for press freedom.

Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, told the court on 17 September that victims of the alleged offences, which spanned 13 years, had endured a ”tunnel of darkness”. The case concerned ”childhoods that have been stolen, innocence corrupted, bodies abused and minds warped,” by Frank Beck, 49, the officer in charge of three homes, aided and helped by two co-accused, Mr Joyce said. Some of the children were as young as eight.

Mr Beck denies buggering nine boys and a girl, attempted buggery of two boys, assaults on seven children, indecently assaulting five children and raping the girl. He also denies buggering two fellow members of staff and indecently assaulting two others.

Mr Beck is a former Liberal councillor and was, the court was told, a senior figure in the shaping of child care policy in Leicestershire during the 1970s and 1980s. The prosecution has alleged he used ”regression therapy”, a form of child psychotherapy which takes children back to infant experiences, as a means of making them vulnerable and weak so they could then be sexually abused.

Peter Martyn Jaynes, 42, deputy officer in charge of two of the homes until 1980, denies charges of indecently assaulting a teenage boy and indecently assaulting the girl while kicking and hitting her. A third defendant, George Charles Lincoln, 39, deputy officer in charge of two homes from 1977 to 1981 denies a charge that he and Mr Beck buggered a boy of 14. The trial was adjourned yesterday pending the appeal court’s decision.

Of the seven prosecution witnesses who have appeared so far, two have given evidence screened from the defendants, who can observe the witness via a video link to the dock. This is a measure usually permitted only for child witnesses. However, the witnesses appearing in this case are in their twenties and thirties.

Section 4(2) of the 1981 Act allows a judge to postpone reports of proceedings where it is necessary to avoid a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice.

But yesterday’s decision can be viewed as an endorsement of the need to read the section in the light of the legitimate interest of the public to information on matters of public concern and of the principle of open justice.

The five news organisations invoked section 159 of the 1988 Criminal Justice Act, passed in response to a European Commission of Human Rights ruling, which gives the media the right to challenge gagging orders or decisions to exclude Press or public from any part of a trial. Before the Act there was no avenue of appeal.

The three judges ruled that the arguments canvassed in the hearing and the reasons for the decision should not be reported by the media or by law reporters until the conclusion of the trial.


The Independent
(London)

September 27, 1991, Friday

Social workers ‘raped and beat’ children in care; A court heard of systematic abuse of boys and girls at Leicestershire homes. Jack O’Sullivan reports

BYLINE: By JACK O’SULLIVAN

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 3

LENGTH: 956 words

CHILDREN as young as eight at three Leicestershire children’s homes were subjected to a reign of terror over 13 years, involving sexual abuse, a rape and beatings by social workers, Leicester Crown Court has been told.

The Independent is able to report the case after the Court of Appeal yesterday overturned a ruling by Mr Justice Jowitt, the trial judge, who banned reporting.

Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, has told the court that the children were repeatedly buggered, sexually assaulted and beaten. Seven prosecution witnesses during seven days of evidence have testified to abuse by three senior staff at Leicestershire homes. In his opening speech on 17 September, Mr Joyce said that Frank Beck, 49, the officer in charge of the homes from 1973 to 1986 and a former Liberal Democrat councillor, had been the ”trusted supremo of children’s homes in Leicestershire”.

However, Mr Beck had perpetrated systematic sexual, physical and emotional abuse against vulnerable children and four fellow social workers by using a form of child psychotherapy to control them, Mr Joyce alleged.

Children would be provoked into fierce anger and then restrained by staff using violence, Mr Joyce alleged. After the anger had passed, subsequent comforting often led to sexual abuse.

He said that ”these children were effectively corrupted by the cruelty, which was the strength and the weapon of the tyrant”. He told the court: ”You will hear . . . that this is a man whom no one did anything to stop.”

Mr Beck faces charges relating to 17 males and one female. He denies charges of buggering nine boys and a girl, attempting to bugger two boys, assaulting seven children, indecently assaulting five children and raping the girl.

He also denies buggering two members of staff and indecently assaulting two others. The prosecution claimed that Mr Beck deliberately recruited impressionable staff at the homes: the Poplars, Market Harborough, which later moved to Ratcliffe Road, Leicester; Rosehill, Market Harborough, and the Beeches, Leicester Forest East.

Mr Joyce said: ”The zeal with which he pursued his victims was unwavering and there is no zeal like that of the pervert.”

Later, he said: ”For these young men, this was a tunnel of darkness. If they did run away, do something wrong or say something when they ran away, they were sent straight back into the darkness.

”It was no way of life for these children. There was no escape for these children. There was simply the endurance of it.”

On trial with Mr Beck is Peter Jaynes, 42, of Chatham, Kent, who was deputy officer in charge at Poplars and then Ratcliffe Road for eight years until 1980. He has denied charges of indecently assaulting a teenage boy and indecently assaulting the girl allegedly attacked by Mr Beck.

George Lincoln, 39, from Sudbury, Suffolk, deputy officer in charge at Rosehill and the Beeches between 1977 and 1981, denies that he and Mr Beck buggered a 14-year-old boy. Mr Joyce said the cases concerned ”childhoods that have been stolen, innocence corrupted, bodies abused and minds warped, in the main by Mr Beck, aided and helped by Mr Jaynes and Mr Lincoln”.

Most of the children had been aged between 8 and 16, Mr Joyce said. Some were there because they were beyond parental control. In some cases there was no other reason than that one or other of the parents was ill.

He said: ”He has not just buggered the children. He has done the same in certain circumstances to other social workers . . . They could not stop him. They could not defy him. One of the questions the prosecution asks is: what chance did the children have if the social workers themselves did not report him?”

Mr Beck would provoke the fears and insecurities of social workers so that they would seek his counselling in private. ”He took advantage of their naivety. He took advantage of their vulnerability,” Mr Joyce said.

One evening Mr Beck took Mr E, a young social worker, into his room for a ”supervision session”, Mr Joyce said. ”Mr E was told that touching another person’s body was an important thing to appreciate when dealing with children who had been abused by those they trusted. He was told that he had to be touched. He would not be able to understand it unless something happened to him.” Mr Beck then indecently assaulted Mr E, the court was told.

Mr Joyce said that Mr Beck was important in shaping Leicestershire’s child care policy. In 1977, he chaired a council working party dealing with children’s homes.

”He had the ear of those in power. He had the faith of those in power,” Mr Joyce said.

Mr Beck had pioneered the introduction of a form of treatment for disturbed children known as regression therapy. Mr Joyce said: ”Under this therapy, these children were taken back into a state of isolation, loneliness and vulnerability in which they would be ripe to be abused.

”Children were told to go back to when they were last happy, to express their emotions that made them unhappy. They were provoked to be angry, so angry that they would have to be physically held down and restrained.”

During ”regression”, boys of 14 would have to wear nappies, would be bathed by adults and used babies’ bottles. Mr Joyce said: ”Regression therapy was the disguise, the veil behind which the perverts took their pleasure.”

It was also a cover for violence against children, even though corporal punishment was officially banned at the homes, Mr Joyce said. ”We are talking about children being held so tight that they cannot move. We are talking about children being smothered, children with towels twisted around their necks. We are not talking about holding. We are talking about terror.”


The Independent
(London)

September 27, 1991, Friday

Eight-year-old ‘was assaulted at bath times’; A court heard of systematic abuse of boys and girls at Leicestershire homes. Jack O’Sullivan reports

BYLINE: By JACK O’SULLIVAN

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 3

LENGTH: 689 words

THE YOUNGEST boy in Ratcliffe Road children’s home was repeatedly raped by Frank Beck during bath-time sex sessions, the court was told last Friday.

It was alleged that the eight-year-old was buggered on about five occasions. Mr Beck denies the charge.

Mr C, now 20, gave evidence, like some other witnesses, from behind a screen. In a soft-spoken voice, he said that the abuse began in the week he arrived at the home, in 1979, when he was eight and a half. He had attempted suicide after his grandmother had died.

Mr C said that he was washed by members of staff. Mr Beck, he said, assaulted him during bathing sessions.

”He would say ‘You’re getting older’ as he washed my body and private parts. At the start he would have his clothes on. Then he’d take his trousers down and expose himself to me.” Mr C said sometimes Mr Beck would masturbate himself. Sometimes he (Mr C) would be made to do it for him, Mr C said. He also described how Mr Beck allegedly picked him up out of the bath and rubbed his own bare body against his and once ejaculated over the boy’s stomach and chest.

Mr C went on to describe how Mr Beck would allegedly lean him over the bath and enter his back passage.

”Sometimes he used to bend me over the bath. He used to hold me from underneath.”

He also claimed to have been told to stand up in the bath and bend over while Mr Beck buggered him from behind.

”Sometimes I was leaning against the wall with Beck having one arm around me and the other behind me – putting his penis in my bottom,” Mr F said. ”It hurt so much I cried and it hurt to sit down.”

Mr C denied a suggestion from John Black, for the defence, that Mr Beck had not been at the Ratcliffe Road home during Mr C’s time there.

Mr C admitted the police had come to him to inquire about any complaints he might have had from his time at the home.

He had been unable to recall Mr Beck’s name, and had identified the defendant from a set of photographs produced by the investigating officers.

On Monday, a 31-year old woman told the court that she had been repeatedly raped by Mr Beck at Ratcliffe Road and sexually assaulted by Peter Jaynes, the deputy officer in charge of the home. Both men deny the charges.

The incident began with Mr Jaynes on her second day at the home, she said.

”He started on about my sexuality. He said I was a lesbian, he repeated it several times. He said I needed a man,” the woman said, breaking down in tears.

”I was on my back. He was laying full-length, his body was on mine. He was rubbing it up against mine, his private parts,” she said.

”I just lay there. Eventually he went out of the room, and when he came back he gave me a lollipop and said I’d done well.”

The woman also said that a fourth member of staff, Colin Fiddiman, a former deputy officer in charge at Ratcliffe Road, who died recently, had used a punishment on her which was also used on young boys. ”They used to put a wet tea-towel around your neck and tighten it. Colin Fiddiman did it to me and he used a dry teacloth. The next morning all my neck was red and bruised.”

The woman said she was raped and buggered by Mr Beck after disturbing him and a young boy resident, who she named as Mr F, aged 13 or 14, in homosexual activity.

Mr Beck allegedly sent her to her room and followed on.

”He went on about my sexuality. He said I needed a man and he was going to show me what I’d been missing.

”He buggered me. I was screaming. He was hurting me and he didn’t care. I was on my knees bent over the settee. Frank Beck had his hand on my neck. He was holding my front and waist. I thought he was going to kill me,” she said.

”Then he turned me over and started fucking me, he was like an animal. I shouted at him to stop. He was hurting me, he made me bleed at both ends.”

She said that, subsequently, Mr Beck had had sex with her a further 30 times.

The woman said young boys at the home were summoned to see Mr Beck.

”When they came down they would be crying, walking funny. They’d be holding their bums,” she said.


The Independent
(London)

September 27, 1991, Friday

Teenager ‘prevented from visiting MP’; A court heard of systematic abuse of boys and girls at Leicestershire homes. Jack O’Sullivan reports

BYLINE: By JACK O’SULLIVAN

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 3

LENGTH: 291 words

A RESIDENT of Ratcliffe Road children’s home, who allegedly said that he had been a rent boy, was stopped from visiting Greville Janner, Labour MP for Leicester West, by Frank Beck, the court was told on Monday.

A 31-year-old woman allegedly raped and buggered as a teenager by Mr Beck at the home detailed an alleged row about 15 years ago between Mr Beck and the boy, Mr A, about going to see Mr Janner.

She was asked by Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, if she could remember hearing Mr Beck in conversation or argument with a boy.

She told the court: ”Frank Beck and Mr A were arguing about Greville Janner. He Beck wasn’t going to let him go and visit Greville Janner.” Mr H, formerly in care, is now aged 31.

On Tuesday, under cross- examination by John Black, representing Mr Beck, the woman said: ”He was shouting to Paul that he wasn’t going to see Greville Janner anymore.”

Mr Black asked her: ”A used to boast about being a rent boy, didn’t he?” She replied: ”When he first came to the home, yes he did.”

Mr Black continued: ”Mr Beck, I suggest you know perfectly well, utterly disapproved of any form of homosexual contact between men and children at his home, didn’t he?”

”I cannot agree with what you say,” the woman replied.

During her evidence, the woman said that she had been sent to the home at the age of 15 from the Towers Hospital, a local psychiatric unit.

She told the court she had faked pains in her side after being repeatedly raped by Frank Beck and sexually assaulted by other staff. She had deliberately undergone an unnecessary operation to remove her appendix in a desperate attempt to escape sexual abuse at the hands of staff at the home, she said.


The Guardian
(London)

September 27, 1991

Children’s homes ‘run by pervert’

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 672 words

CHILDREN as young as eight were systematically abused and beaten by social workers during a 13-year ‘reign of terror’ in three Leicestershire children’s homes run by a ‘tyrant’, a jury has heard.

Children had allegedly been buggered, indecently assaulted, beaten and, in one case, raped by Frank Beck – described at Leicester crown court as the ‘trusted supremo of childrens’ homes in Leicester’.

It was alleged that so-called regression therapy, in which children aged up to 14 were made to wear nappies, was used as a cover for the abuse, and that Mr Beck’s personality was so powerful that even other members of staff had been unable to resist him. Mr Beck, aged 49, was employed by Leicestershire social services as officer in charge of the homes between 1973 and 1986.

The allegations can now be made public after the Guardian, the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Press Association won an appeal yesterday lifting a reporting ban which has been in force since the trial opened last Monday.

Opening the prosecution case, Peter Joyce, QC, said some of the weakest and most troubled people in society had been corrupted. ‘They had their lives totally distorted and twisted by those whose responsibility it was to help them.’

He said the three defendants, who include two former colleagues of Mr Beck, Peter Jaynes and George Lincoln, had used a controversial form of child psychotherapy as a cover for their perversions.

It was indicative of the ‘sheer power, force of personality, and ego of Mr Beck’ that he was also accused of offences against adult members of staff, Mr Joyce said. ‘He hasn’t just buggered the children, he has also buggered other social workers. They couldn’t resist him, they couldn’t defy him. What chance did the children have?’

Mr Beck introduced so-called regression therapy during which children as old as 14 were made to wear nappies and given dummies and baby’s bottles, the court heard.

‘Under therapy these children would be taken back to the state of isolation, loneliness, and vulnerability in which they were ripe for being abused,’ Mr Joyce said in the hearing before Mr Justice Jowitt. ‘Regression therapy was the disguise, the veil behind which the perverts took their pleasure.’

Although Mr Beck had publicly condemned the use of brutality and corporal punishment in children’s homes, he allegedly approved the use of ‘outright cruelty’ to provoke children during therapy.

‘We’re talking about children held so tight they can’t breath, children half smothered, children with towels twisted round their necks,’ Mr Joyce said.

The abused children had lived in a tunnel of darkness, he said. ‘There was no escape. If they did run away, or say anything, what happened? They were sent back to the darkness.’

Mr Beck, who has been remanded in custody since April 14 last year, denies 29 charges including buggery, rape, attempted buggery, indecent assault and assault causing actual bodily harm relating to 17 males and one female, 14 of them children in his charge.

Mr Jaynes, aged 42, of Chatham, Kent, denies indecently assaulting two children and assaulting one. Mr Lincoln, aged 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies buggering a child with Mr Beck.

The allegations centre on three homes where Mr Beck was in charge between 1973 and 1986. Mr Jaynes and Mr Lincoln were deputy officers in charge at the homes: the Poplars in Market Harborough, Ratcliffe Road Children’s Home in Leicester, and the Beeches, near Leicester.

The court heard how Mr Beck had also instilled ‘fear, insecurity, and a sense of helplessness’ among his staff.

‘They were dependent on him for their jobs and he took advantage of their naivity, impressionability and vulnerability,’ Mr Joyce said.

As chairman of a council working party on care and control in community homes in 1977, Mr Beck had been influential in the running of Leicestershire children’s homes. ‘He was the trusted supremo,’ Mr Joyce said.

‘Childhood torment’, page 2


The Guardian
(London)

September 27, 1991

‘Abuse victims’ tell of their childhood torment: Witnesses give evidence from behind screen – ‘We were just sitting chatting when he picked me up and carried me to his bedroom. He took my clothes off’ – Former children’s home resident says she feigned appendicitis to escape sex attacks

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 938 words

SEVEN former residents of Leicestershire children’s homes have told a jury of sexual abuse and violence by social workers in charge of the homes.

Three males, now adults, claimed they had been buggered by Frank Beck, the officer in charge of three homes between 1973 and 1986, and a 31-year-old woman said she had been repeatedly raped and buggered by Mr Beck and sexually assaulted by other social workers.

Two men said they had been repeatedly sexually assaulted as children in Mr Beck’s care.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the woman told Leicester crown court that she had had her appendix removed as a teenager to escape sexual abuse by social workers.

Cross-examined by John Black, counsel for Mr Beck, she described how she had heard an argument between Mr Beck and a boy resident, who boasted that he was a rent boy, relating to Greville Janner, MP for Leicester West.

‘He was shouting to Paul (the boy) that he wasn’t going to see Greville Janner any more,’ she said.

Mr Beck, aged 49, denies 29 charges of buggery, attempted buggery, rape, indecent assault, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Two social workers who served as deputies to Mr Beck, Peter Jaynes and George Lincoln, deny a total of four charges of buggery, indecent assault and assault.

The catalogue of alleged abuse and violence unfolded during seven days of evidence given by former residents, some of whom were shielded from Mr Beck’s view by a screen.

Day one

Last Tuesday Mr G, from Blackpool, now aged 29, told the jury how Mr Beck held him face down and buggered him after he had been taken to his quarters.

‘I was telling him to get off me but he was holding me down after he’d got inside me,’ Mr G said.

He added that he felt scared and ashamed after the incident and told no one.

Mr G claimed he also received regular beatings from Mr Beck ‘for nothing’. He said up to a dozen members of staff were involved in administering summary beatings to children in the home.

Day two

Cross-examined by John Black, Mr G denied pressure had been put on him by the police to give evidence.

He admitted that he had applied for compensation from the criminal injuries compensation board but denied that he was motivated by the possibility of receiving financial compensation if Mr Beck was convicted.

Day three

Mr B, aged 26, described how Mr Beck had performed oral sex with him at the age of 10 or 11. Mr B said staff at the home would keep him away from school on days when his injuries would be noticed. He also denied a suggestion by Mr Black that he had been pursuaded to make a statement by the police.

Later Mr H, aged 32, from Dartford, Kent, alleged that he had been raped by Mr Beck at the age of 16. ‘We were just sitting chatting normal when he actually picked me up and carried me to his bedroom. He took my clothes off.

Day four

Mr C, 20, claimed he was buggered by Mr Beck on five occasions at the Ratcliffe Road home where, aged eight, he was the youngest child.

From behind a screen, he claimed this happened during bathtime homosexual sex sessions when Mr Beck would also masturbate himself or get Mr C to do it for him.

Cross-examined by Mr Black, he was asked why he had never made a complaint before.

He said he had always thought he would not be believed.

Day five

On Monday a 31-year-old woman, who claimed she had been repeatedly buggered and raped by Mr Beck and indecently assaulted by Mr Jaynes, described how Mr Beck had threatened to return her to a psychiatric unit if she did not do as he wished.

She said she was sent the Ratcliffe Road children’s home from the Towers Hospital, a local psychiatric unit, at the age of 15.

The woman also claimed she was raped and buggered by Mr Beck after disturbing him and a young boy resident in homosexual activity.

The woman said she was still a virgin when the alleged rape happened.

Mr Beck had sexual contact with her around 30 more times before she feigned illness, which led to her hospitalisation, to escape the home.

Day six

Cross-examined by Mr Black, the woman confirmed that she had overheard an argument between Mr Beck and a boy, named as Mr A, concerning Greville Janner.

‘He was shouting to Paul that he wasn’t going to see Greville Janner any more,’ she said. Mr Black asked her: ‘A used to boast about being a rent boy, didn’t he?’

‘When he first came to the home, yes he did,’ she replied.

Mr Black continued: ‘Mr Beck, I suggest you know perfectly well, utterly disapproved of any form of homosexual contact between men and children at his home, didn’t he?’

‘I cannot agree with what you say,’ replied the woman.

She denied a suggestion by Mr Black that she was lying by claiming she was a virgin when she was allegedly raped and buggered by Mr Beck.

Day seven

On Wednesday Mr I, now 30, told the jury how he complained to police more than 15 years ago about sex abuse in the Ratcliffe Road children’s home.

Mr I said he told his mother that he had been abused by Mr Beck and Mr Jaynes at the end of his two-year stay in the home and the police were informed.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, he described two incidents during which he was allegedly sexually abused by Mr Beck and one in which he was allegedly abused by Mr Jaynes.

Cross-examined by Mr Black, Mr I agreed that he had previously tried to escape from a children’s home but denied that he had fabricated allegations of abuse to escape the Ratcliffe Road home.


The Times

September 28, 1991, Saturday

Social worker tells of abuse

BYLINE: By Craig Seton

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 366 words

A FORMER social worker told Leicester crown court yesterday that he fell under the influence of the man in charge of a children’s home at the centre of sex abuse allegations and was eventually buggered by him every fortnight for three or four years.

Mr D, now aged 38, said that he came to fear Frank Beck and felt that he had no choice but to have sex with him. He said: ”From the outset, it was a very unreal world. I was under his influence for a number of years. I think I am still scared of him.”

Mr Beck, aged 48, is accused of 29 charges relating to alleged sexual and physical abuse of children and others at three county council children’s homes in Leicester and Market Harborough, Leicestershire, where he was officer in charge between 1975 and 1986. Peter Jaynes, aged 41, of Chatham, Kent, and George Lincoln, aged 38, of Sudbury, Suffolk, who worked at the homes, face four charges. They have pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Beck was a tyrant who stole the innocence of children in the care of Leicestershire social services. The court has been told the boys aged between eight and 16 were indecently assaulted or beaten, that a girl was repeatedly raped and that young social workers were forced to submit to sex.

Mr D told the court that children were provoked physically and verbally by social workers until they were out of control under a regime called regression therapy.

Mr D said that he was 21 and inexperienced when he went to the Poplars home at Market Harborough in 1974, when Mr Beck was in charge. He soon felt cut off from his family and friends while working at the home. After a confrontation with a child, he had wept, and Mr Beck had comforted him in his room.

Mr D said that Mr Beck told him to express his feelings because the children would be able to manipulate him in the area of sex. On that occasion, Mr Beck had kissed him and touched his genitals.

Sessions with Mr Beck had developed into mutual masturbation until eventually Mr Beck had assaulted him. Mr D said: ”I did not feel I had any choice. He was the officer in charge.”

The trial continues on Monday.


The Independent
(London)

September 28, 1991, Saturday

Man tells of sex with homes head

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 3

LENGTH: 346 words

A FORMER social worker told a court yesterday that his boss regularly had sex with him at a children’s home over a period of three or four years.

Mr D, 38, told a jury at Leicester Crown Court that he felt he could not refuse the attentions of Frank Beck.

”He was the officer in charge and I was the lowest grade social worker in the home,” he said. ”He had my career in his hands.

”If I was going for another job I would have to get a reference from him. I felt I had no choice.”

Mr Beck, of Braunstone, Leicester, denies 12 charges of buggery, one of rape, two of attempted buggery, seven of indecent assault and seven of assault causing bodily harm. The charges relate to 13 boys, one girl and four members of staff.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1974 and 1986 when he was head of two children’s homes in Leicester and at The Poplars home in Market Harborough.

The former deputy head of two of the homes, Peter Jaynes, 41, from Chatham, Kent, has denied two charges of indecent assault and one of causing actual bodily harm. A social worker, George Lincoln, 38, from Sudbury, Suffolk, has pleaded not guilty to a joint charge with Mr Beck of buggering a boy.

A ban on reporting the trial, which began at the start of last week, was overturned by the Court of Appeal last Thursday after representations by several newspapers and the Press Association.

Mr D said he was aged 21 when he got a job at The Poplars in 1974. He became upset by problems encountered in dealing with some children and Mr Beck cuddled and comforted him.

Several times, Mr Beck took him to his room and mutual masturbation took place. On one occasion, Mr Beck buggered him.

”He had convinced me that I needed to develop my sexual area and this was one way of making me stronger,” Mr D said.

The prosecution has claimed that youngsters as young as eight were sexually and physically assaulted at the three homes during a reign of brutality and abuse that went undetected for 13 years.

The trial continues on Monday.


The Guardian
(London)

September 28, 1991

Child worker ‘submitted to buggery’

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 560 words

A FORMER residential care worker in two Leicestershire children’s homes yesterday told a jury how he allowed himself to be regularly buggered by the officer in charge for more than three years, because he believed it would make him a ‘better social worker’ and that his ‘feelings would be strengthened’.

Mr D, aged 38, said Frank Beck, who ran the county council homes between 1973 and 1986, first persuaded him to engage in mutual masturbation sessions telling him that he ‘needed to develop in the sexual area’.

He also told the court how children were challenged and provoked until they ‘blew out’ as part of so-called regression therapy developed by Mr Beck. Staff repeated taunts like ‘You hate your mother’ and shook children until they lost their tempers. If they did not, they were isolated from other children.

Mr D was giving evidence at the trial of three former Leicestershire social workers. Mr Beck, aged 49, denies 29 allegations of physical and sexual abuse. His former deputies, George Lincoln, aged 39, of Great Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk, and Peter Jaynes, aged 41, of Beacon Hill, Chatham, Kent, deny a total of four charges.

Mr D told Leicester crown court that the incidents began shortly after he was employed as a residential careworker at the Poplars home in Market Harborough in 1974, aged 21. He said he soon felt lonely and on several occasions broke down crying and was ‘cuddled’ by Mr Beck.

On one occasion, Mr Beck told him to strip down to his underpants and masturbate. ‘He told me sex was an area I needed to work on,’ Mr D said.

Asked by Peter Joyce, QC, prosecuting why he had heeded Mr Beck’s request, he said: ‘It sounds silly now, but I thought perhaps I had to do it to become better.

‘The team of staff who were working together seemed very strong in what they were doing and I wanted to be part of that team. The assumption that was in my mind was that if Frank Beck was doing this kind of therapy with me, he was probably doing it with everyone else, so why should I feel odd about it happening?’

During the third or fourth such session, he said, Mr Beck buggered him.

‘Did you want him to?’ asked Mr Joyce. ‘No.’

‘Did you consent to that?’ asked Mr Joyce.

‘I didn’t feel I had any choice. I was the lowest grade social worker in the house. He had my career in his hands. He was also a very powerful personality,’ Mr D replied.

He was subsequently buggered by Mr Beck around once a fortnight for three to four years.

Mr Beck had once told staff: ‘Don’t forget I know something about each and every one of you.’ Mr D said: ‘I think I’m still scared of him.’.

On Wednesday, Mr J, aged 29, a former resident of the Ratcliffe Road Children’s Home, told the jury how children were given a lollipop after they had been abused.

‘There was a lot of lollipops given out. He used to buy them in boxes,’ he said.

Mr J, who was 14 when he was sent to the home, claims he was sexually and physically assaulted by Mr Beck and other staff.

He said there were four kinds of regression therapy sessions: ‘It was happy, sad, randy or angry. If they chose a randy session then you were touched. You were touched all over. They just messed about with your head – playing mind games.’

The trial continues.


The Observer

September 29 1991

Scandal of ‘back to babyhood’ therapy

BYLINE: SARAH LONSDALE

SECTION: Pg. 3

LENGTH: 950 words

REGRESSION therapy, practised by three Leicestershire children’s home care workers now undergoing trial on charges of physically and sexually abusing children over 13 years, is widely used in Britain.

The Observer learnt this week that a home practising one kind of regression therapy is funded by the Department of Social Security, despite a Shropshire Social Services inspectors’ report, which found that patients were sometimes tied up to staff members by rope, or made to stay in the corner of a room and ignored for up to 24 hours.

The inspectors found these practices ‘dangerous and potentially abusive’, and demanded an immediate halt to them.

Regression therapy is based on the theory that, in order to get to the root of personal problems, subjects have to be taken back to their childhood. The technique involves putting patients in nappies, bottle- feeding and standing them in corners, and alternately shouting at and hugging them so that they eventually feel like helpless children.

Social workers and therapists who use the system admit it is open to abuse and misinterpretation. Leicester Crown Court heard last week how children at local authority homes were subjected to regression therapy by Frank Beck, the officer in charge. Children as old as 13 were made to suck dummies and wear nappies, were bathed like babies and told to ‘regress’ to the time they were last happy. Mr Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, told the court the technique had left them isolated, lonely and vulnerable, ‘ripe for being abused’.

Mr D, a residential care worker, said in evidence that the children were challenged and provoked until they ‘blew out’. Staff repeated taunts like ‘You hate your mother’, and shook children until they lost their tempers. If they did not, they were put in isolation.

Frank Beck has pleaded not guilty to a total of 29 charges involving youngsters and staff at the homes between 1973 and 1986. Two other men involved also deny charges.

The Institute of Transactional Analysis, which actively promotes regression therapy amongst among psychotherapists, social workers and teachers, in this country has several hundred members and regularly organises workshops to disseminate ideas.

Regression therapy encompasses a range of controversial treatments, including so-called ‘re-parenting’, where patients are encouraged to reject their own parents and adopt the therapists as their new parents.

The institute also promotes a form of regression therapy widely discredited in the United States, where it originated, called Cathexis.

Cathexis was the brainchild of American social worker Jacqui Schiff, who developed the technique of ‘re-parenting’ for her work with schizophrenics. In her book All my Children, she describes making patients stand in a corner, restraining them with a heavy chair and spanking them. She also describes how she got a patient over his castration complex by holding a knife to his genitals.

Courts in Virginia ordered Ms Schiff never to work again, and a home she operated in California had its licence taken away. She is now living in Birmingham, where she runs a private re-parenting practice.

Nick Irving, head occupational therapist at West Norfolk and Wisbech Health Authority’s child and family unit in Kings Lynn, supports regression therapy and admits to bottle-feeding and hugging adult clients. He says regression therapy is widespread: ‘There is a potential for abuse .. the therapist has to understand what is driving him.’

A home for mentally ill adults that uses Cathexis techniques, is operating in Birmingham. The home, run by Trident Housing Association, operated in Shropshire until June. Shropshire Social Services inspectors demanded a stop to ‘dangerous and potentially abusive practices’ there, including:

Making patients stay in a corner of a room, where they were ignored for up to 24 hours.

Tying ropes to patients and carers, as a ‘symbolic umbilical cord’. Witholding mail from patients.

Encouraging patients to reject their parents in favour of their new ‘parents’, care workers.

Earlier this month, Birmingham City Council refused an application to have the home registered with the social services department. However, Nick Moreton, director of Trident, says the home will challenge this decision at an appeal tribunal.

The home is funded by the Department of Social Security to the tune of pounds 170 a week per patient. It has eight patients, but the application is for 12 places. If the appeal fails, the home risks losing its funding.

The Midlands Regional Director of the National Schizophrenia Fellowship, who visited the home, says its techniques should be monitored carefully: ‘Some methods of treatment are unproven and even rejected by practising professionals.’

Regression therapy has its casualties. Mark Stein, a council official from Bury, Manchester, says he has lost Madeleine, a former girlfriend, to regression therapy. She was admitted to the Trident Housing Association home three years ago and diagnosed by unqualified therapists as schizophrenic.

She is now ‘a completely different person ..I can’t recognise her’, said Mr Stein. ‘She has been reduced to a helpless child.

‘Before she went to the home she had a good job, her own home and a wide circle of friends. She is now totally dependent on carers at the home, whom she refers to as her mothers,’ he added. ‘Her own mother is extremely upset about it.’

She has has rented out her home and is absolutely dependent on the care workers.

Madeleine, 33, originally went into the home for just one year. After three years, she has no plans to leave.


Press Association

September 30, 1991, Monday

SEX ABUSE CASE JUDGE STEPS IN OVER ‘TOP NAMES’

SECTION: HOME NEWS

LENGTH: 438 words

A judge intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial today to prevent names of “people in high places” being revealed. A former social worker was about to name a man said to have had homosexual contact with a boy in care when High Court judge Mr Justice Edwin Jowitt stepped in. He told counsel representing former children’s homes head Frank Beck, who faces 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse: “Are names relevant? “Allegations are made, not necessarily by the people who know, and repeated second-hand against people who are not here to defend themselves. “Counsel have a responsibility not to drag in names of people who are not here to say anything about it.” Mr Francis Sheridan, one of two barristers defending Beck, replied he would continue the questioning “in another way”. Former social worker Mr D, 39, had said he was the care officer of a youth in care named as Mr A who had boasted of being a rent boy. Mr Sheridan asked: “Did he boast of having friends in high places?” Mr D replied: “Yes.” Mr Sheridan asked: “Did he tell you who those were?” At this stage the judge intervened. Mr Sheridan later asked Mr D: “Did you talk about one person in high places or more than one?” Mr D replied: “One. He just knew him and had contact with him.” He said that Beck knew about the relationship and he had raised it with him. Sheridan said: “Did he not make it clear he would raise it with the director of social services, Dorothy Edwards?” “Yes,” he replied. “I think most of the conversations which took place at that time were between Paul and Frank directly.” He said of Beck: “He was certainly going to make sure that action was going to be taken to sever the contact.” Mr D also said the person in question turned up at the children’s home, with a bicycle as a present for the boy. He said the incident happened sometime in mid-1977. Sheridan asked: “And he was sent packing by Frank Beck who told him bluntly no more contact?” Mr D said: “I wasn’t present when the person arrived but that was my understanding when Frank Beck reported back to team meetings.” Mr D earlier alleged he was sexually abused by Frank Beck. Beck, 49, formerly of Braunstone, Leicester, is in the dock alongside former social workers Peter Jaynes, 42, and George Lincoln, 39. Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, denies three offences of physical and sexual abuse and Lincoln, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies an allegation of buggery. The offences were allegedly committed between 1974 and 1986. The trial at Leicester Crown Court was adjourned until tomorrow.


The Times

October 1, 1991, Tuesday

Child case judge halts naming of ‘abuser’

SECTION: Home news

LENGTH: 213 words

A High Court judge intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial yesterday to prevent the names of ”people in high places” being disclosed.

A former social worker was about to mention he name of a man feared to have had homosexual contact with a boy who was in care when Mr Justice Jowitt interrupted, asking: ”Are names relevant? Allegations are made, not necessarily by the people who know, and repeated second-hand against people who are not here to defend themselves.”

The judge told defence lawyers: ”Counsel have a responsibility not to drag in names of people who are not here to say anything about it.”

Francis Sheridan, one of two barristers representing Frank Beck, a former head of a children’s home who faces 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse, replied that he would continue his questioning ”in another way”.

Mr Beck, aged 49, formerly of Braunstone, Leicester, is charged along with two social workers, Peter Jaynes, aged 42 and George Lincoln, aged 39. Mr Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, denies three charges of physical and sexual abuse and Mr Lincoln, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies a charge of buggery. The offences are alleged to have been committed between 1974 and 1986.

The trial at Leicester crown court continues today.


The Independent
(London)

October 1, 1991, Tuesday

Judge prevents naming of ‘people in high places’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 405 words

A JUDGE intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial yesterday to prevent the names of ”people in high places” being revealed.

At Leicester Crown Court, a former social worker was about to name a man said to have had sexual contact with a boy in care when Mr Justice Edwin Jowitt stepped in.

He told counsel representing Frank Beck, 49, a former children’s homes head, formerly of Braunstone, Leicestershire, who denies 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse: ”Are names relevant? Allegations are made, not necessarily by the people who know, and repeated second-hand against people who are not here to defend themselves.

”Counsel have a responsibility not to drag in names of people who are not here to say anything about it,” he said.

Francis Sheridan, one of two barristers defending Mr Beck, replied he would continue the questioning ”in another way”.

Mr D, 39, a former social worker, had said he was the care officer of a youth named as Mr A, who had boasted of being a rent boy.

Mr Sheridan asked: ”Did he boast of having friends in high places?”

Mr D replied: ”Yes.”

Mr Sheridan asked: ”Did he tell you who those were?” At this point, the judge intervened.

Mr Sheridan later asked Mr D: ”Did you talk about one person in high places or more than one?”

Mr D replied: ”One. He just knew him and had contact with him.” He said that Mr Beck knew about the relationship and he had raised it with him.

Mr Sheridan said: ”Did he not make it clear he would raise it with the director of social services?” ”Yes,” Mr D replied. ”I think most of the conversations which took place at that time were between Paul and Frank directly.”

Mr D said the person in question turned up at the children’s home in mid-1977 with a bicycle as a present for the boy.

Mr Sheridan asked: ”And he was sent packing by Frank Beck, who told him bluntly ‘no more contact’?”

Mr D said: ”I wasn’t present when the person arrived but that was my understanding when Frank Beck reported back to team meetings.”

Also charged are Peter Jaynes, 42, of Chatham, Kent, who denies three offences of physical and sexual abuse, and George Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, who denies an allegation of buggery. Both are former social workers.

All the offences were allegedly committed between 1974 and 1986. The trial continues today.


The Guardian
(London)

October 1, 1991

Abuse case told of boy’s ‘friend’

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 383 words

A CHILD in care at one of the Leicestershire children’s homes where social workers allegedly operated a regime of systematic abuse and violence boasted he had been a rent boy and had ‘a friend in high places’, a jury heard yesterday.

Mr D, aged 38, a former residential care worker at the Ratcliffe Road children’s home in Leicester, said he reported the information to Frank Beck, the officer in charge, who took action ‘to sever the contact’.

Mr D told Leicester crown court the ‘friend’, who was not named, came to visit the boy, Mr A, and wrote to the home.

On Friday Mr D told the court he allowed himself to be regularly buggered by Mr Beck for more than three years because he thought it would ‘make him a better social worker’.

Mr Beck, aged 49, who was in charge of three of the county council’s children’s homes from 1973-86, denies 29 charges of buggery, rape, indecent assault, and assault, relating to 17 males and one female. His two former deputies, George Lincoln, aged 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, and Peter Jaynes, aged 41, of Chatham, Kent, deny a total of four charges.

Cross-examined by Francis Sheridan, defending Mr Beck, Mr D said he was a care worker assigned to Mr A and discussed the boy’s problems with him. Asked by Mr Sheridan what they were, he replied: ‘It was clearly that he had taken a homosexual path in life.’

Asked if he had boasted of being a rent boy, Mr D said: ‘I think so, yes.’ Asked by Mr Sheridan: ‘Did he say he had friends in high places?’, Mr D replied: ‘Yes.’

Mr Justice Jowitt, presiding, warned counsel against making allegations against ‘respected persons who are not here to say anything’.

In mid-1977, Mr D said, a letter from the friend was raised at a meeting of social workers. Mr Sheridan suggested Mr Beck had replied that the boy should have no further contact with him because he thought there was ‘a homosexual relationship’. ‘Yes,’ replied Mr D.

Earlier, Mr D admitted that in his first statement to police, dated 23 August 1990, he denied ever having been abused by Mr Beck. ‘Having gone for 12 or 13 years having not said a word to anyone it’s very hard to actually say something.’

The trial continues.


The Independent
(London)

October 2, 1991, Wednesday

Man ‘plotted to kill sex abuser’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 404 words

A 29-YEAR-OLD man yesterday told a court how he plotted to kill a senior social worker in revenge for sexual abuse he said he suffered as a child.

Mr L said that in 1981 he took a youth training job as a chef at a Leicester children’s home run by Frank Beck with the intention of stabbing him.

Earlier, he had told Leicester Crown Court that he was buggered three or four times and beaten up by Mr Beck at the Ratcliffe Road children’s home in the mid-1970s.

He described being taken to Mr Beck’s bedroom and forced to undress and touch the social worker’s genitals before being sexually assaulted.

Mr L also claimed that Mr Beck and other staff forced himself and other children to have temper tantrums.

”They would hold you down so you couldn’t move. They would run their knuckles up and down your ribs. They would say things like ‘express your feelings’.”

Asked by Peter Joyce, QC for the prosecution, what would happen if he did not have a tantrum, Mr L replied: ”You didn’t have a choice.”

He claimed that despite repeatedly absconding from the home and telling his mother and the police about the alleged physical abuse he was always taken back. He finally left the home after telling juvenile magistrates that he would kill himself if sent back.

He told the court that he was 18 when he hatched the plot to kill Mr Beck after learning that he was running the Beeches children’s home. ”I wanted to take revenge for what he’d done. I wanted to kill him,” he said. But Mr L never carried out the plot and left the home after six days.

Under cross-examination by John Black, for the defence, he admitted robbing a post office at the age of 10 or 11. Mr Black claimed that by the time Mr L reached the Ratcliffe Road home he was ”a significant trouble-maker, sent there as a place of last resort”.

The court also heard from a mining engineer, who alleged that Mr Beck sexually abused him while he was a teenager in care.

Mr M, 24, said he punched Mr Beck after ”finally realising he was a pervert” .

Mr Beck, 49, of Braunstone, Leicestershire, denies 29 charges of physical and sexual abuse against children in his care and former staff members between 1974 and 1986. Two former deputies: George Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, and Peter Jaynes,42, of Chatham, Kent, deny a total of four charges. The trial continues.


The Guardian
(London)

October 2, 1991

Sex ‘forced on boy at council home’

BYLINE: By IAN KATZ

LENGTH: 525 words

A TEENAGER who broke the law to escape being beaten by his parents, was regularly sexually abused by the officer in charge of the Leicester children’s home where he was sent, a jury was told yesterday.

Now aged 24, the man, Mr X, told Leicester crown court he had been forced to masturbate and have oral sex with Frank Beck during ‘counselling sessions’ at the Beeches children’s home.

Giving evidence at the trial of three former social workers alleged to have presided over a 13-year ‘reign of terror’ in three Leicestershire county council children’s homes, he said he was later buggered by Mr Beck, whom he had come to treat ‘like a father’.

He said violence by staff was an everyday thing at the home. Female residents, who were frequently called whore, slag, or bitch, were treated particularly badly. ‘He hated their guts,’ Mr X said.

Mr Beck, aged 49, who was officer in charge of the three homes between 1973 and 1986, denies 29 charges of sexual and physical abuse against 14 children aged eight to 16, and four former staff. His two former deputies, George Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, and Peter Jaynes, 41, of Chatham, Kent, face a total of four charges.

Mr X, who told the court he had enjoyed a career in the forces and now worked for an oil company, said he was sent to the Beeches in 1980, aged 14, after committing two crimes to escape a household where he claimed he was beaten since the age of six.

‘I was more than happy to be there. I thought it was great. I could play football. I could go out of the house without being shouted at. I could have a bath without dire consequences. That was my idea of luxury.’

During his two-year stay at the home, he said he had several ‘counselling sessions’ in which he was made to sit on Mr Beck’s knee in a darkened room and ‘talk about emotions’. During some of these sessions Mr Beck allegedly forced him to masturbate and participate in oral sex.

If he failed to become aroused Mr Beck became aggressive and threatened to have him sent to borstal. ‘He made it plain he could have me transferred within an hour.’

He said he became ‘confused as hell: after these counselling sessions began they seemed a small price to pay to be kept away from my parents’.

Mr Beck had allegedly later visited him after he left the home and buggered him, causing him to bleed for two weeks, he told the court. ‘I felt that if I showed that it was hurting, it would hurt more – he seemed to be enjoying it, the pain.’

Asked by Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, why he had not seen a doctor, he replied: ‘I was 16 years old. I’d just been buggered – in effect just had homosexual sex. I wasn’t about to admit it to a doctor, a man of authority.’

Earlier Mr L’, formerly Mr L, 28, told the court he had taken a job as a chef at the Beeches so he could take his revenge on Mr Beck for abuse he had suffered. He said he planned to stab him with a set of chef’s knives, but changed his mind after some of them were stolen.

He said he had complained to social workers and police frequently about maltreatment.

The trial continues today.


The Guardian
(London)

October 3, 1991

‘Abuse victim’ denies giving away navy secrets

LENGTH: 360 words

A FORMER navy weapons expert yesterday denied handing over secret ships’ movements to the social worker who allegedly abused him as a teenager.

The man, 24-year-old Mr X, was confronted with the timetable of navy movements at the Leicestershire child abuse trial of former social worker Frank Beck.

John Black, defending Mr Beck, asked Mr X, who was a resident at the Beeches children’s home in Leicester, if he had given the document to the former head of the children’s home after joining the navy in the early 1980s.

The witness studied the handwritten list and angrily declared: ‘That is not my handwriting and I can prove it. I am absolutely sure I have never sent in advance any ships’ movements, except with the express permission of the captain, to any person – Frank Beck included.

‘That would be in breach of the Official Secrets Act and a treasonous act.’ But he told the jury he recognised a forces identification number written alongside the list.

‘I know the person whose number that is,’ he said but declined to name the sailor. The judge, Mr Justice Jowitt, ordered that the list be given into the care of the court.

Earlier Mr X, who now works for an oil company, had alleged he was buggered and indecently assaulted by Mr Beck while in care at the Beeches from 1980 to 1982.

During cross-examination he denied making up the allegations, saying they were ‘absolutely truthful’.

Mr Black asked him about what he said were discrepancies between the man’s evidence to Leicester crown court and his original statements to the police.

Mr X said there were errors in the statement on particular points but not lies. ‘I believe there is a difference,’ he said.

Mr Beck, who was officer in charge of three Leicestershire county council homes between 1973 and 1986, denies 29 allegations of physical and sexual abuse relating to 17 males and one female, 14 of them former children in his care. Yesterday he denied a further charge of buggery against Mr X.

Two former deputies, Peter Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, and George Lincoln, of Sudbury, Suffolk, deny a total of four charges.

The trial continues.


The Independent
(London)

October 4, 1991, Friday

Home head ‘humiliated social worker’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 313 words

A SOCIAL worker yesterday told the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial how he was ”humiliated and degraded” by his boss during so-called supervision sessions.

Mr K, 40, told Leicester Crown Court how former children’s home head Frank Beck, 49, subjected him to repeated sexual assaults culminating in buggery.

Mr K, now a child care officer in Scotland, said he had ”felt degraded, debased, humiliated, de-humanised”. He told the jury trying Mr Beck and two other social workers how Mr Beck would organise ”supervision sessions” at the Beeches children’s home in Leicester.

Mr K, who began his social work career at the home aged 28, said these soon turned into homosexual sex sessions.

He said ”personal growth therapy” soon began to be dominated by questions of sexuality. ”It was hugging initially, fondling . . . It ended up with either one or both of us in a state of undress.”

Mr K said the sessions began to include masturbation. ”It developed, if that’s the correct phrase, into a period of oral sex.”

Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, asked why Mr K became involved in the sex acts.

Mr K said: ”He used threats, physical assault and I felt he used his ability to manipulate the staff and residents to make life in work rather difficult for me.” He said he was threatened by Mr Beck with having his social work probationary period revoked.

The witness said he was slapped by Mr Beck in front of both other staff and children at the home.

He said once he tried to resist Mr Beck, but ”he physically took my clothes off, put my genitals in his mouth and bit very hard”.

Mr Beck denies 30 charges of physical and sexual assault against children in his care and other staff. Two former deputies, Peter Jaynes, 42, and George Lincoln, 39, deny a total of four charges.

The trial continues.


The Independent
(London)

October 9, 1991, Wednesday

Abuse ‘led to homosexuality’

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 2

LENGTH: 254 words

A WITNESS told a child sex abuse trial yesterday that he was turned into a homosexual by a senior social worker. Mr F, who was giving evidence at Leicester Crown Court on his 29th birthday, told of repeated beatings and sexual abuse by the officer in charge, Frank Beck, 49.

He claimed that after leaving the Ratcliffe Road children’s home in Leicester he went to London, where he had a number of sexual encounters with other men, sometimes for money.

Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution, asked Mr F: ”Why did you go with blokes?” He replied: ”Because of the way I had been treated at Ratcliffe Road. If you had put a girl in front of me I wouldn’t have known what to do. It was the way I’d been brought up by Beck. I thought it was right and I knew no difference.”

Mr F, a serving prisoner, was giving evidence on the fifteenth day of the trial of Mr Beck, who denies 31 charges of physical and sexual abuse on former members of staff and children in care between 1974 and 1986. A new charge of buggery on a former boy in care was denied by Mr Beck yesterday. A co-defendant, Peter Jaynes, 42, of Chatham, Kent, denies three offences of physical and sexual abuse on children, and a second co-defendant, George Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies an offence of buggery.

Mr F told the court that at 13 he was often taken to Mr Beck’s quarters at the home where he was made to perform various homosexual acts, which culminated in him being buggered by Mr Beck. The trial continues.


The Independent
(London)

October 10, 1991, Thursday

Man tells of homosexual abuse by care staff

SECTION: HOME NEWS PAGE; Page 8

LENGTH: 252 words

A MAN aged 27 told a child sex abuse trial yesterday how he was sexually assaulted as a teenager by two social workers who were waiting for him with no trousers on.

Mr N said at Leicester Crown Court that when he was 14 or 15 he was in care at the Rose Hill children’s home in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, when he was summoned to the private quarters of the deputy officer, George Lincoln, and found him and the home’s former head, Frank Beck, dressed in only their shirts.
”I think he Beck had a tea towel or a hand towel laid across his private parts.” Mr Lincoln was naked from the waist down.

Mr N said that he was beckoned to sit on Mr Beck’s lap. After a short time he was propelled on to the bed where he was buggered, first by Mr Beck and then Mr Lincoln. At some point, some sort of lubrication was applied to his backside. Since the alleged buggery, he had felt ”more than hatred to people in uniform, to anybody to do with the Government”, he told the court.

Cross-examined by John Black, for Mr Beck, he admitted there were inaccuracies in one of his police statements because he had been smoking marijuana immediately before being interviewed.

Mr Beck, 49, denies 31 charges of physical and sexual abuse against children in his care and former staff members between 1974 and 1986; Mr Lincoln, 39, of Sudbury, Suffolk, denies one charge of buggery; and a third former social worker, Peter Jaynes, of Chatham, Kent, denies three charges.

The trial continues.